The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Guinea supports the creation of human rights institutions and transitional justice mechanisms. Three national UN University Volunteers with OHCHR are raising awareness and building capacity to deepen respect for human rights. These are Fatoumata Toure (22), Fatoumata Sekou Camara (26) and Ismael Sowtall (24).
Fatoumata T., Fatoumata S. and Ismail were actively engaged in sensitization events and engaging with communities on human rights. They conducted research, collected data and created content for dissemination. Their assignments as UN University Volunteers lasted six months, and their contributions were appreciated by OHCHR.
Our youngest academics of the UN Human Rights Office have blossomed from young volunteers to young innovators. They have taken power and given a new and beautiful image to the office. They are to be congratulated and encouraged to face the next challenges. --Dr Patrice Vahard, Representative of OHCHR in Guinea
In December 2022, the trio organized the 75th anniversary celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Guinea, which was a huge success. They used mural painting to feature articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Their efforts inspired other young volunteers to join in and celebrate Human Rights Day across the country.
Fatoumata Toure, UN University Volunteer Assistant for Protection Analysis and Reporting
Fatoumata T. collects data during monitoring missions to report alleged human rights violations and ensuring compliance with international human rights standards. She has gathered information on minors in detention in Boké, Dubréka and Coyah. She also monitors central police stations in Conakry, such as Sofonia and Bellevue. Fatoumata analyzes the data she collects and drafts concise and analytical reports on findings of human rights violations.
Fatoumata has also aided organizing events like celebrations of United Nations Day and Human Rights Day in 2022, as well as capacity-building and community engagement activities promoting peace and human rights.
Volunteering with UNV has allowed me to progress towards my dream of becoming an international expert on human rights promotion and protection. --Fatoumata Toure, UN University Volunteer Assistant for Protection Analysis and Reporting with OHCHR, Guinea
Fatoumata Sekou Camara, UN University Volunteer Capacity-building and Promotion Programme Assistant
Fatoumata S. has engaged in community outreach and sensitization programmes to empower people and make them aware of their fundamental rights. Thanks to her proficiency in several local languages, she has been able to effectively communicate the notion of human rights to rural communities in Nzerekore, Kissidougou and Kindia.
I take great pride in advocating for the rights of prisoners and detainees. With my teammates, we have been on eight monitoring missions in detention camps. This enables us to gather information on the living conditions of inmates and make recommendations for improvement. --Fatoumata Sekou Camara, UN University Volunteer Capacity-building and Promotion Programme Assistant with OHCHR, Guinea
Ismael Sowtall, UN University Volunteer Communications Assistant
Ismael Sowtall feels privileged to have served as a UN University Volunteer with OHCHR and to have contributed to the promotion and protection of human rights in his home country. As Communications Assistant, he created compelling content showcasing the impactful work of the agency, which he shared on the social media accounts of OHCHR, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Over the course of his six-month assignment, he produced 10 informative and descriptive videos to raise awareness of human rights issues.
Ismael was also able to benefit from training sessions and workshops on personal development, leadership, communication techniques and the use of human rights indicators.
A major milestone of our journey at OHCHR was organizing celebrations of Human Rights Day in December. We empowered local youth to create frescoes with symbols of human rights and the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through innovation and effective involvement of local authorities, we spread our message across all four regions of Guinea. --Ismael Sowtall, UN University Volunteer Communications Assistant
Currently, six UN University Volunteers serving in West and Central Africa are supporting the efforts of OHCHR, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and World Food Programme (WFP).